March 10, 2015 by pastorjdo3
Tonight’s study, an important one, picks up from last weeks study on our culture, that is saturated with the spirit of idolatry. In the midst of this culture, we as believers are asked to be Daniels, refusing to bow, and willing to take the stance to demonstrate and vocalize the truth about who God is, worshiping Him despite obstacles, and without fear. Knowing this, we must set in course a plan of action as to how to confront a culture that is law suite happy and offence sensitive. Paul sets a great example for us in the 17th chapter of Acts in verses 22-34.
While others are conforming, checking out, we must combat and we must counter, all the while, understanding the wrong response to the current culture is almost as unhelpful and unhealthy as not engaging it at all.
Who are the people God has placed on your heart? What type of interaction have you had with them in the past? Can you see where the wrong response might be as damaging as not engaging? Share an example.
What is your biggest challenge to sharing your belief? What’s your biggest fear with sharing your belief?
Paul sets a great example by showing respect for the opinions and beliefs of others. Though they are wrong in their understanding, they are entitled to their thoughts and opinions. One must understand that offending someone stalls and often ends effective and productive dialogue. There is a way that we can confront culture without being confrontational. We must insure that our zeal and passion does not result in an argumentative spirit. The Bible encourages us to live at peace with our neighbors, and to be peaceful and considerate towards our brother and sister. (Romans 12:18/2 Titus 3:2).
Paul was also wise in that he took the time to be learned about the culture he was confronting. Have you taken the time to learn more and gain understanding about the culture you are called to confront? Understanding the culture helped Paul prepare his argument, and helped him to be sensitive in his argument, not offending, and placing the hearer on the defensive. To be effective, we must do the same!
Lastly, Paul’s aim was not to embarrass or convict, but to convince them by enlightening them with truth. His approach and his attitudes were in line with God’s will. Even our Lord, who had the right, position and power to condemn, chose to focus on saving, not condemning the world (John 3:17). He focused on presenting the good news to mankind, not posturing with threats and insults. He looked on those lost with compassion and with determination, made the sacrifices necessary to see those lost reunited with our Heavenly Father.
What have you taken from tonight’s study? How will you apply this in your confrontation with creation?